Return to West Maui

It has been awhile since my last post in March of 2018. So, I feel a bit overdue for a little catch-up. (I was so tempted to write “catsup” in that last sentence but eventually decided against it as just too corny.) In a nutshell, we traveled to Maui, as we try to do in May each year, and then in June we spent a few days at South Lake Tahoe. Here’s the overdue post about our 2018 visit to West Maui. The photo at the top of the page was taken from our room’s lanai at 9:30 PM.

I’ll soon follow up with a post about our Tahoe visit.

When we go on a trip like this we plan ahead to arrange lodging, obtain airline tickets, etc. Unfortunately, when the time came Billie was suffering from a serious chest cold and not feeling much like traveling. However, she decided that the warm weather and the lack of any day-to-day responsibilities would probably aid in recovery and we took off anyway. The punch line, of course, is that while she did start to feel better after about a week, she also (unintentionally) shared her cold with me.

Despite all this we still had a great time staying at our ‘home away from home‘ at Napili Kai Beach Resort, ate well (mostly at local restaurants), and visited with friends we’ve met there who often stay there at the same time of year. And I managed to get out a few times to capture a few images.

In the Morning

Looks like possible rain this morning
Dark clouds to the east suggest that we’re in for some rain this day.

Frequent readers know that I enjoy shooting in the morning when the light is good and there are very few other tourists around. I took this first shot of Napili Bay from the north end looking south at around 20 minutes before 6 AM as the sky was just beginning to show signs of sunrise. The ocean’s constant motion causes small waves to crash upon the rocks but the overall bay continues to show its normal, relative calm.

Never ending motion of the restless sea
This image illustrates that endless motion in close-up.

Sunrise begins to light up the clouds at Napili Bay I like the way the clouds behind the palm trees on this shoreline path, began to light up with touches of magenta as the sunlight reaches them.
Restaurant with the best beach view on Maui.
The full-service restaurant and bar in the image on the right, just opening up for breakfast, has some of the best beach views (as well as an excellent menu), on West Maui.

In the Evening

At this time of the year, viewed from Napili Bay, the sun always sets behind the island of Molokai just across the channel to the northwest. Sunset on this particular evening started off looking very promising. In addition you can just see a couple of brave (foolish?) paddle-boarders heading out more than a hundred yards beyond the bay (where the currents can sometimes be quite strong and treacherous).

Start of sunset

As thicker clouds move over Molokai and the sun continues to drop further behind the island, the sky becomes darker and the promising sunset has all but disappeared. The paddle-boarders have wisely chosen to head back to shore.
Sunset over Molokai

Then, just after the paddle-boarders have safely returned to shore, what looked like a lackluster sunset suddenly lights up with spectacular color before the sun completely sets for the night.

With little warning, what looked like a lackluster sunset  sudde

Away From Napili Bay

I decided to visit the blowhole several miles up the road from our resort. I’ve photographed this before but never from fairly close up. One of the first things you see at the parking area is the well-worn, and not particularly official, sign below, left, “BLOWHOLE Park and walk at your own risk.” You should understand that word “walk” is extremely optimistic; the way to the blowhole is more than 100 feet below the road and while some of it can be walked, mostly it is a rock scramble to reach the bottom.

Moreover, a newer and less worn sign has been added (below, right), “Warning — Stay clear of Blowhole. You can be sucked in and killed. It’s not a waterpark.” I’ve seen the occasional unhappy news stories which support that warning.

I was more than halfway down to the blowhole level when it occurred to me to take a context shot showing the blowhole and its surroundings. I was happy to see that all the folks who’d climbed down (many viewed it from up above – the climb down — and then back up, can be daunting) were taking the second sign’s advice to not get too close. 180527-0920

Here are shots of the blowhole doing its thing (which depends totally upon the surge of the surf, of course). I’m not as close as the photos suggest – I’m using a medium telephoto 180527-0980 zoom lens to get a closer image capture. The one on the left is what one normally expects to see when the blowhole blows. I’ve also included a less common view of the blowhole (on the right) in which it appears to explode rather than presenting a vertical column of water.  I am 180527-0953 assuming this occurs when one surge is inter-rupted by another just in time to spoil the show.

I’ve also included an image (below) that I only learned about from another visitor to this site. I think it was called “Heart Rock” or perhaps “Valentine Rock” because of the its unusual formation. 180527-0990

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you would like to see other photos from Maui just visit my Maui Album on my photographic website (by clicking here) or to see other images I’ve captured elsewhere during our travels, go to the home page of my website at CedBennett.Photography.

Also, if you feel so inclined, please leave me a comment below or ask my any photographic (or photo locale) question you’d like.

Thanks for visiting this blog.



  1. Wow, Ced! I love it that you photographed the same sunset, just at different times – so amazing that it would change so dramatically. I’ve never been to Maui; you’re making me excited about my first trip there – not yet planned, but someday will be.


  2. Hi, Ced, these photos are AWESOME!! I’ve been to Maui once a long time ago and spent some time with you and Billie then. I cherish those memories. Say “hello” to Billie for me. Again, the photos are outstanding!. Your photography demonstrates your amazing talent.


    1. Thank you so much for those kind words, Lee Ann. Of course I remember your visit to Maui (and, as I remember, your first [initially somewhat unsettling for you] experience swimming in the ocean). I will say hello for you. Thanks for visiting my blog (and/or my photo website, if you took a peek).
      Best, Ced


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